Catherine Elsie Castner “Cass” English

| February 16, 2019

Catherine Elsie Castner “Cass” English, 65, passed away Monday, February 11, 2019, in the comfort and care of her devoted husband of 44 years, Mark, son, Alan, and niece, Ann Wallace.

She was born July 14, 1953, in Brookville, PA to the late George Sylvester and Helen Sushereba Castner. Cass spent her childhood in Corsica, PA and graduated salutatorian of her class in 1971, from East Forest High School in Marienville, PA. She attended Edinboro University and graduated in 1974, with a degree in Education and certification as a Speech and Hearing Pathologist.
Cass and Mark were married on September 28, 1974, in Brookville, PA. While visiting her parents in Cooleemee, for Christmas, Cass was paralyzed on December 26, 1975, with a spinal hemangioma. After a lengthy hospitalization, she and Mark settled in North Carolina close to family and her doctors.

Cass did not let her paralysis stop her from doing anything she desired. The drive that she brought to working around her disability is a model of courage and strength. In 1983, she purchased a retail clothing business, which moved and grew into the formal wear business, now English’s Bridal and Formalwear, which she and Mark operated together. Since 1991, they have served thousands of couples preparing for their weddings from their store in Clemmons, where Cass handled most of the business operations.

Over the years, Cass served her community as a member of PTA boards, as secretary of the Davie County Arts Council, and by donating her time and merchandise to local non-profits. Cass was recognized in 1989, 1990, and 1992, by North Carolina’s then Governor, Jim Martin, for her volunteer commitments.

She enjoyed the arts, always listening to music and even playing piano and saxophone in her younger years. Cass was a lover of great food and company, and could always be found in the kitchen, giving directions to Mark or Alan preparing meals for family and friends. She also authored two family cookbooks to preserve recipes passed down through the generations. On weekends you could find Cass outside in the yard, enjoying the sun and chatting with neighbors, and Cass relished the time she was able to spend with her family. She was always the organizer of high school and family reunions.

Survivors include her husband, Mark English of the home; son, Alan English and daughter-in-law, Gretchen Unfried-English of Hartford, CT; brother, Robert Castner, and sister-in-law, Laling of Virginia Beach, VA; sister, Judy Wallace and brother-in-law, Buck of Redclyffe, PA; brother, James Castner and sister-in-law, Bobby Jean of Vowinckel, PA; six aunts and uncles; twelve nieces and nephews; and many great-nieces and great-nephews, adoring cousins, friends, and neighbors. She was especially proud of her two grandsons, Everett (3 years) and George (9 months) of Hartford, CT, who she delighted in watching grow.

A celebration of life will be conducted at 1 p.m., Thursday, February 21, at The Granary at WinMock Farm in Bermuda Run, NC for those who would like to join in remembering Cass. Internment services will be held the weekend of May 25th in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania where she will be laid to rest at Pisgah Cemetery in Corsica, PA.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested you continue Cass’s legacy of supporting education by donating to the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics Foundation (1219 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705). The family has established the English Family Fund for Global Experiences in her memory.

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Category: Obituaries